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The Business Benefits of Reactive Microservices

Companies looking to develop microservices can find they've bitten off more than they can chew if they don't properly anticipate several hurdles that come with microservices.

In some situations, microservices can actually just be monoliths in disguise if teams aren't careful. However, applying reactive principles can help teams overcome a number of these issues and get the most out of their microservices architecture.

Everywhere you look, companies are leveraging microservices for their software development projects. From large companies to burgeoning startups, companies to looking to build and maintain their apps with ease, boost productivity and speed, and leverage autonomous teams via offshore software development outsourcing can find a viable alternative in microservices. And, as a whole, microservices have spelled massive success for 15% and considerable success for 86% of adopting companies according to O'Reilly's State of Microservices Maturity report in 2018. But, as microservices implementations have matured, companies may find that their system requirements are a little more complex than anticipated.

When you look at microservices in contrast with a traditional monolith, the benefits associated with independent development, deployment, and scalability are evident. Nonetheless, they also come with their own set of challenges that include increased complexity, a need for specialized experts, poorly defined boundaries, network issues, and more. It's understandable for some to interpret some microservice architectures as a monolith in disguise.

Luckily, a recent movement has brought to light the missing ingredient—or rather, a set of principles that support microservices design and help it reach its greatest potential—that allows companies to design systems able to manage uncertainty with a higher level of success. By keeping reactive architecture concepts and principles in mind during the design process, companies can reap the benefits of microservices even for highly demanding applications.

Introduction to Reactive Microservices 

To understand this trend, we need to understand the Reactive Principles​:
  • Responsive: Delivers fast and consistent response times, allowing for timely error detection and management.
  • Resilient: Remains responsive even after a failure.
  • Elastic: Performs under varying workloads.
  • Message Driven: Uses asynchronous message passing to keep boundaries between components defined.

In microservices, these principles result in systems where each microservice is isolated (and therefore does not impact other microservices, even when failing), autonomous, event-driven, has a single responsibility, can be moved at runtime but can be reached regardless of its location, and owns its data exclusively.

The benefits of applying reactive principles for software development teams are clear, as they offer a better and easier way to model a microservices system. Under these set of principles, teams can apply new development patterns that include:

  • Single team ownership of a microservice
  • Independent monitoring, testing, and debugging
  • Independent and frequent upgrades that don't affect other services in the system
  • Independent scaling up and down without impacting other services.


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The Business Side of Reactive Microservices 

Reactive microservices also deliver several benefits for businesses when it comes to development and cost management. These benefits include:

Reduced Time to Market

In software development, time is of the essence. Users demand faster and better functions that require companies to be able to provide new features and upgrades quickly, lest they lose their customer base and credibility. Microservices can help organizations get to market faster but may present systems performance issues if core features are not addressed in a timely fashion. Reactive microservices principles can fix a number of these features, including concurrency, messaging, error handling, fault tolerance, and cluster management.

Cost Reduction

Businesses will often look at cost first before deciding to adopt a new framework or technology. Well managed reactive microservices offer efficient computer power usage, storage, and networking, allowing for millions of transactions to run at a fraction of the cost of traditional models. Likewise, companies will find themselves cutting costs as less time is spent programming and function redundancies are reduced.

Better Systems for Customers

Because reactive microservices are event-driven, companies can better observe their customers' behaviors. As an app starts seeing a level of usage, software development teams can keep an eye out for the functions users use the most (or the least) to optimize or better tailor their services. They may also detect opportunities to create new functions and yield even more value to their customers.

Implementing a reactive microservice architecture requires a careful analysis of many factors, including business requirements, team strengths, and a company's planned trajectory. However, companies will find that incorporating reactive principles in their microservices results in highly responsive and effective systems that deploy faster, cut costs, and delight end users.

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Friday, 04 December 2020

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